The Zenith of Fallen Empires 2.0
 This topic has been pinned, so it's probably important
Kolyn  [developer] Mar 16, 2018 @ 6:48am
Q: How do Ascended Empires actually work?

A: You will be practically playing an Awakened Empire. I created a new country type and used codes to ‘bind’ Ascended Empires to Awakened Fallen Empires to receive hard-coded benefits. This means that whatever buffs, maluses that PDX or other mods inflict on Awakened Empires in the defines file, Ascended Empires will get them too.

Q: Will you make compatibility with [insert mod]?

A: Due to limited time, and that I am needed to continue developing contents for this mod, I will have to restrict compatibility work for mods I actually play with. Maintaining compatibility patches is almost another full-time job in itself, as you have to update every time the other mod updates, every time this mod updates, and every time the base game itself updates. If someone has the inclination or time to make compatibility patches, I will create a compatibility thread in the forums where I will put down any compatibility issues I can think of and how a patch can be made.

Q: I would like to contribute and show my support for this project. How can I help?

A: If you have an idea for new content, you can write to me in the forums. If you want to try out some modding and would like to expand upon the core structure provided by this mod, feel free to write your ideas here too. Support can also be shown via my Patreon[] or my Paypal[], or just general messages of encouragement. These will help me get through the moments of chasing phantom bugs, and often the tedium of copy-and-pasting lines of code 16 times for one option. And of course, positive ratings will help a ton too!

Q: Where is feature X? Why is feature Y in 1.0 and not 2.0? When will you release feature Z and how can you do this to me?

A: The original ZoFE 1.0 was built over a month, not a single week. Each feature, each option is many hours of work, and then requires testing and later proofreading. It’s not a copy-and-paste job but an overhaul, and because there are so many features in ZoFE 1.0 and I only have 2 eyes and 2 hands. I have decided to release the new Ascension mechanic so people can get used to it and give feedback, rather than sit on it for another month. This is done out of consideration for other players who want to play with this mod. If you want to find out what I'm working on and what I'm planning to do next, please check out Developer's Corner.

Q: Why did you remove the option to keep existing graphical culture?

A: If you are a modder, you will already know why. The mechanics for the Ascension itself has changed since ZoFE 1.0 as part of the redesign. From 1 event triggered by technology which gives 2 "generic" civics and call yourself Ascended Empire, to 1 event popped by Ascension Perk with explanatory powers and integrating Traditions mechanic, with multiple "custom" third civic options for all kinds of Ascended Empires. To achieve a sense of polish and refinement this is done in the way it has, by putting some 30 long options in 1 event, easily making it the longest event I have made by far. Since each custom civic is now its own option with its own ship sets, keeping existing ships will cause another 30 options which will appear alongside existing ones (e.g. Galactic Superpower will appear twice, one with shipset, one without). Does it actually look good with a wall of story text plus about 10 options on the window? (Hint: it doesn't, in fact on some windows it won't even fit) So the first decision for the developer is how you present the Ascension process in a way that is understandable, while looking good.

Then there's the technical side. Any ship set that you see on the workshop will not have Escorts/Battlecruisers etc models... these have to be made - by someone. Otherwise you have graphical glitches and people will complain, and will continue to complain about graphical bugs until every single ship set in the workshop is supported. This was exactly the situation I found myself in after ZoFE 1 release. Not only that, there is no way around the issue of keeping vanilla graphical cultures causing mini turrets to appear on FE ships. That's not a satisfactory outcome. Not only are you spending extra hours for a never-ending job of compatibility patches, but the end result is that it won't look good anyway. So the second decision for the developer is between limiting ship set options, or bugs.

In short, it is the same reason why PDX reduced 3 FTL types to 1. The extra work is not worth it and not sustainable. Except, unlike PDX, I actually don't get paid for this extra work either. With the development time I had at the time, and taking into account the future of this mod, I made the decision that I did. Sometimes people focus way too much on what the current iteration takes away as opposed to what it gives in return. And I'd take a functioning, polished mod over a broken one and a never-ending piece of time-sink any time. I am of course, happy to hear from you if you have an ingenious solution.
Last edited by Kolyn; Jun 25, 2018 @ 2:14pm